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Being active - Moving through space
Moving with maths  Like this activity  
15 - 30 mins activity Suitable for Birth - 5 years

Location Outdoor

When you and your child are playing outside see how many different ways can you move your body.

How many jumps or hops can you do on your right leg and can you do the same amount on your left leg? Can you keep a ball or balloon in the air for one minute before it touches the ground?

How quickly can you crawl to the back fence and then hop to the side gate?

Did you do it faster yesterday than today?

Materials you will need

  • Balls
  • Balloon
  • Hoop
  • Skipping rope

Why does this matter?

This activity helps children to understand about number and counting patterns and that we count forward. Children will develop an understanding that we can move our body in different ways and this helps them to learn to orient their body in space. Children will also be learning to follow instructions involving number, position and direction.

What does this lead to?

Exploring how we can move our body in space helps children to navigate themselves through the environment and to develop spatial awareness. When children count they are learning to quantify their world and develop an understanding that number can help to describe size and measurement.

Language and Questions to use

  • Up, down, high, low
  • Near, far, close
  • Away, towards
  • Left, right
  • Next one, same one, the other one
  • How many throws can we do without dropping the ball?
  • How many jumps does it take to get to ______ ?
  • How many times can you tap the balloon in the air before it touches the ground?
  • How many hops can you do on your left leg and then your right? Which leg can you do more on? Is that the strongest leg?

Useful Tips

  1. While waiting at the bus stop or train station you could count how many jumps or hops your child can do.
  2. Movement does not have to be with your whole body. It could just be with your head or your arms and hands, such as clapping.
  3. You might also like to take a look at the A game of hopscotch activity.
  4. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • You could vary the activity by using:
    • broom handles to jump over
    • cardboard boxes to crawl through
    • buckets to jump around
    • hoops to jumps into and out of

Questions to ask

  • Which way are you going?
  • How are you moving?
  • Which part of your body are you using?

Three to five year olds

  • You could vary the activity by using:
    • broom handles to jump over
    • cardboard boxes to crawl through
    • buckets to jump around
    • hoops to jumps into and out of
    • targets for throwing at
    • sheets for crawling under
  • Play music as your child moves and when the music stops they have to stand as still as a statue.
  • Use a stopwatch and timer for recording how quickly your child can move around the yard or the obstacle course.

Questions to ask

  • How many do you think you could do?
  • Will you do more or less today?
  • How quickly can you get there?
  • Were you faster or slower today?

Moving with maths

Skills this activity improves

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